MADISON - Wisconsin won't start a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Health Care Act. That's what Governor Scott Walker said today.
The state will comply with the law, but will let the Feds handle the exchanges.
Governor Walker emphasized that more than 90 percent of Wisconsin has health insurance - that's without an exchange. But Walker thinks the idea of a State-Exchange is in name only.
Instead, the Federal Government makes the final decision on everything anyway.
These exchanges are supposed to make it easier for small businesses and people to shop for insurance.
"They don't give the kind of true flexibility that would be required to provide something unique for our state, the state of Wisconsin," Governor Walker said. "Therefore, one of my biggest concerns is that had we chosen a state-run exchange it would provide long-term to the Wisconsin taxpayer and that is too high."
Some Walker supporters like the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce hoped for a state-run exchange.
Meanwhile, many opponents said Walker made the wrong decision since creating an exchange would give Wisconsin control.
The Governor says there are costs that aren't controlled and not fully-funded.
"Whether or not we like it, we're complying with the law," Walker said. "The differences between the three options under the law are really minimal, if at all, in terms of the impact on consumers. So in the end, we chose the option that provides the greatest amount of security, the greatest amount of protection for the taxpayers of the state of Wisconsin."
Today was supposed to be the deadline for states to decide on exchanges,
But yesterday the Department of Health and Human Services pushed the date to December 14.
Also a Ministry Health Care spokesperson put out a statement today saying they wanted a state-run exchange, but respect the Governor's decision.
Students get opportunity to plan for life after high school
MINOCQUA - High School students need to start thinking about life after high school during their junior and senior year.
On Wednesday Lakeland Union High School and Nicolet College hosted the Wisconsin Education Fair to help them with that.
Nearly 80 colleges, universities and branches of the military offered information to high school juniors and seniors from all across northern Wisconsin. Schools from as far away as Nevada and Alabama came to the fair.
TOMAHAWK - More than 50 fourth graders from Tomahawk learned about nature on Wednesday as part of long-lived education program. UW-Stevens Point staff at Treehaven host programs to teach elementary students about nature. The program has been around Tomahawk Public Schools for more than 25 years.
"We are doing a lot about the history of Tomahawk, the people that were here in the early 1800s and just a little bit about the land," explained Naturalist Rachel Anderson. "Right not we've been doing some tree identification and forestry measurements, but this morning they were learning about the voyagers and the Native Americans in this area."
The program covers more than just fall-learning, Treehaven leaders host learning programs in the spring and winter as well. You don't have to be a student to take part in some of the programs at the learning center. They include group hikes where you practice and discuss identifying plants and trees.
"We've had two this fall, and I'm hoping that is something we can continue to do in all seasons and continue to offer," said Anderson. "We've been getting a lot of positive reinforcement that it's something that the public is really interested in, so we hope to continue to offer more in the future."
Treehaven leaders regularly offer programs to the public involving nature, education, and artistry. If you are interested in learning more about these programs and events, you can follow the link listed below the article.
APPLETON - Many Wisconsin drivers who lose their driving privileges have continued to operate their vehicles and commit additional violations.
According to Wisconsin Department of Transportation data, there have been more than 57,000 convictions for operating while suspended, without a valid license or after revocation this year. That number follows last year's trend, when nearly 114,000 licensing-related convictions were reported.
During the first six months of 2014, more of the state's residents were convicted of driving with suspended licenses than speeding 11-19 mph over the limit.
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